Twilight Imperium: The Xxcha Kingdom

From the strategy guide written by Stefan Sasse

Racial Ability:

  • May spend one CC from SA to veto a political agenda
  • You may execute the Primary of Diplomacy SC when using the Secondary.
  • Enemy receives -1 in first round of space combat

Starting Techs:

  • Antimass Deflectors
  • Enviro Compensator

Leaders: Admiral, Diplomat, Diplomat

Representative 1: Brothers Qquiar (B)  +2. If not targeted by Spy, gain +3 votes.

Representative 2: Ggrucoto Rinn (C)  +3. If you give TG to players, they mustn’t receive Promissory Notes. You must vote for them.

Representative 3: Xxekir Grom (C)  +2. During bargaining step, gain +3 votes if the current player does not offer Promissory Note.

Racial Tech 1: Diplomats (5)   You may spend one CC from SA to veto an enemy action (once per round).

Racial Tech 2: Instinct Training (4)  Once per game turn, you may spend 1 CC from your SA to cancel an AC just played by your opponent.

Starting Units:

  • 3 Fighters
  • 1 PDS
  • 1 Carrier
  • 2 GF
  • 2 Cruisers

Trade Agreements:  2,2

Homesystem:  Archon Ren (2/3), Archon Tau (1/1)

Flagship: Loncara Ssodu (9 / 6×2 / 1 / 4)  You may attack with this ship as if it were 2PDS units with Deep Space Cannon.

The Xxcha are, to quote Mike Evans (a user from the FFG and boards), ‘Henry Kissinger crossed with a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle,’ and not only in respect of appearances. Normally, they talk smoothly, but if necessary, they also carry a big stick. Plus, there is no other race that can say “No, my friend, you can’t do that” in the game like the Xxcha.

This big stick is their first racial ability: In the first combat round the enemy receives – 1 to all dice rolls. This is critical because most space battles are decided in the first round of a space battle. It will keep your losses down and give you a better chance to escape. Remember that such dice modifications have the greatest effects on enemies with a high hit number such as Destroyers, Carriers and Fighters. They will in most cases lose a third or even half of their potential hits in the process.

The second racial ability is that you may – if you wish – execute the Primary of Diplomacy instead of the Secondary. The positive thing is that you don’t have to take the card yourself to profit from it, but the downside is that Diplomacy isn’t one of the cards that gets chosen a lot, and you depend highly on when the other guy uses it. So if you really need Diplomacy’s protection, you will have to take the card yourself.

The third racial ability allows you to spend a CC from SA to veto the upcoming political agenda. Now, this is a very potent weapon since the Xxcha are nearly immune to the real nasty political stunts. If you don’t have their support in a specific matter, it doesn’t matter how many allies you gathered – they will veto the agenda in question. This is also a power that can be sold if someone desperately needs to veto an agenda of no meaning to the Xxcha.

Their starting techs allow the Xxcha for a pretty decent run on either some blue or yellow techs. The downside is that the stick they are carrying isn’t as intimidating as it could be since they totally lack red techs, and the green techs need to be researched from the start also. The good news is that they probably won’t need them either.

Their racial tech “Diplomats” is a great deterrent and warning system and definitely one of the most potent racial techs around. It allows you, once per round, to veto the activation of one of your systems. The enemy CC is burned and the action is ended. Always keep a CC in SA to be able to use this ability. Since the enemy can activate the system again on his next turn, this is more of an early-warning system. You can reinforce the system in question or leave it to save your troops for the counter-assault. Since the enemy knows this as well, he might choose to bite on weaker victims. Their second racial tech, “Instinct Training”, allows them to cancel enemy AC. This is a really, really powerful ability, especially if players or races that tend to use them heavily are in the game. The worth of this soon outweighs the purchasing cost, especially if you need to fight big battles in the middle or late game which tend to get some heavy AC play.

The Xxcha HS is a bit of a downer. Only three resources make for a slow start, so grabbing some resource-rich planets is a priority. Additionally, it doesn’t really have that much influence to make up for it. At least you can build up your HS to a build limit of nine should you wish to do so.

A real disadvantage of the Xxcha are their starting forces. They have only one Carrier and two GF, which guarantees a very slow initial expansion. It has to be a number one priority for every Xxcha player to overcome this initial weakness. If you feel really edgy, however, you might want to capitalize on the presumption of other players that the Xxcha are a potentially military weak species. Two Cruisers are enough to attack an expanding enemy, especially with Warfare II. An enemy Carrier will hit only on 0 in the first round, while you hit with 7+. Good chances to cripple the early advance of an enemy and bide some time.

It does not surprise that the Xxcha come with two Diplomats (and a dismissible Admiral). You can use them to protect a whole two-planet production system, which is unique over other races. Another option is to use them for aggressive expansion, making it nearly impossible to recover lost planets when landing them together with the GF. Of course, if you go down this route you should make sure that you win the ground combats…

The Representatives of the Xxcha gain bonus votes left and right, and they can buy off opponents now officially if they are willing to spend some TG. Especially if you play with Promissory Notes like “Support of the Throne” the ability to give away a TG for them not to be able to accept the note is invaluable. You can also prevent the other players from signing non-aggression pacts.

The flagship of the Xxcha, “Loncara Ssodu”, is primarily a defensive mechanism to further add to the turtling of the Xxcha (no pun intended). It can boost your PDS roll to eight, which serves as a rather strong deterrent. It is also fairly cheap – 2 PDS cost 4 resources, two Cruiser another four, and then you get four capacity on top – all for one Fleet Supply. I’d buy it if I have the resources and aren’t in dire need for something else.

The Xxcha should capitalize in their political powers whenever they can. The Secondary of Diplomacy is for free (except the token from SA, of course), which makes for some cheap on-the-way annexations that are too expensive to afford for most other players. Also, you can even block a system for the enemy if someone else holds the Diplomacy-SC, which becomes invaluable should you be hard pressed. Last, you may veto a political agenda. This is especially useful when the agenda at hand is directed at you, since no one will ever even bother trying as long as you keep a CC in SA (which is also necessary to use the racial tech – see a pattern here? Always have a good supply of CC in SA). If you are not overmuch interested in a particular agenda, you may still sell the veto-ability or make some fast friends. The Xxcha are for politics what the Mentak are in most other regards – whores. Capitalize it.

4 thoughts on “Twilight Imperium: The Xxcha Kingdom

  1. These guys are definitely the weakest of all the base game races. They need to be playing with leaders to be even remotely competitive.

    Even with all the expansions, I’d still say they’re the weakest race. A high resource homeworld is a massive factor (the only thing keeping Letnev from being horrid). Theirs stinks and they have no amazing abilities like Yssaril to make up for it. Diplomacy is only going to be picked around twice all game, and when it is, you don’t get to control which round it happens. Their combat ability is only useful if you’re evenly matched with the enemy fleet, but their terrible homeworld and slow expansion assures you’ll never keep pace with fleet production. The political power doesn’t really matter because 90% of the political cards are crap not worth playing over just burning them for a trade good.

    Not only have I never seen an Xxcha player win, I’ve never seen an Xxcha even be in the running to win.

  2. I placed second place tonight with the xxcha. I was at 8 VPs while the winning player was the Universities of Jolnarr (their secret objective was tech based, go figure). Game ended on status phase of round six.

  3. I played Twilight Imperium for the first time a couple days ago, and played the Xxcha. I spent the entire game clearly losing, and going into my final move I was 2-4 points behind all other players. So… qualified for 5 points on my final move, used Imperial to claim all 5, won.

  4. Same Story here. Slowly built up making friends and playing the diplomacy game both off and on the board.

    Then managed to swoop in at the end to secure victory just before the game ended.

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